DIY Rustic Wood Couch

You’re going to think we’re weird, but we haven’t owned a couch, a real couch, since 2002. That’s 16 years of either sitting on the floor, or in an office chair. Back when we had a couch, we hit a bit of a rough patch financially, and the couch, along with most of our belongings, had to be sold. Since then, we either didn’t have the space, the money, or the need for a couch. But as we get older, we are coming to appreciate having a nice place to relax, to lay down when not feeling well, or a comfy spot for cuddling under a blanket while watching old movies. Now that the living room reno is finished, it was high time for a couch. So we built it!

We went with slats for the seat instead of a solid piece of wood as we wanted our cushion to be able to breathe. We’ve seen first hand what a cushion on a flat wood surface can do with body heat: it molds!

The couch back was straight up & down. So to add a reclined back, we installed angled braces (above), then attached another layer of plywood over them (below):

We went with Fir wood for all the parts that would be seen, so that when we stained it, it would all stain the same. Different wood species take stain differently. The only parts that we used basic pine on was the center beam under the seat, the back braces and the seat slats as no one will see those. It’s mostly plywood and 2×4’s with a couple of 2×6’s.

Time To Upholster Our DIY Couch 

To give our DIY couch a cushy back and sides, we first stapled heavy thick batting along the bottom, then stuffed it with loose cushion filler. Once full and tight, we stapled the batting along the sides and top to seal it all in:  

Upholstery fabric is crazy expensive. Soooo not within our budget. Heavy duty cotton duck canvas was priced just right. We could have gone with a color that matched our bottom cushion, which is a natural creamy oatmeal color, but we really liked the shade of this khaki. The two colors complimented each other well. A two-tone couch is different and unique, so naturally we had to give it a go! We cut and folded in the fabric along the edges, pulled it taut, then hammered in antique brass upholstery nails to hold it all in place:

The cushion is actually a mattress. We had purchased it a couple of years ago for our tiny house on wheels we were building, which we had to sell, but kept the mattress. It’s handmade with natural fabrics, and natural wool. No chemicals, no pesticides. We had it made wider/deeper than most couch cushions because we wanted to be able to turn it into a single bed. Long enough and wide enough to stretch out on. We purchased it from Home Of Wool on Etsy. Then I topped it with a bunch of pillows:

I made all the pillow inserts by taking old bed pillows, cut them in half, then resewed them. It was waaaay cheaper than buying inserts! Have you seen how much those things cost?! Highway robbery. The long bolster pillow in the back and the little stripe pillow I made myself by sewing together two table runners! DIY couch, so why not DIY pillows too?

I waited and waited for a sunny day to take photos of the couch for this post. As it’s getting on to winter, a sunny day is not likely to come around any time soon and I was done waiting lol. So dark, moody photos it is.

The feet were one of the more expensive bits of this DIY couch. But they were so pretty and curvy. More importantly, they were the right height:

We just love how it turned out. Neither of us has napped on it yet, but there has been some fireside chats and guitar playing on it. We don’t have a TV yet, but we did manage to watch a bit of YouTube on a laptop while relaxing on it. It’s kind of nice sitting on something you made with your own two hands 🙂